Hassoun says that she will sometimes imagine that her manager gives her a friendly hug. And sometimes Hassoun says she imagines her manager putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Hassoun understands that she is not permitting herself a conversation so she fantasises a hug.*
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.**
(Jesus of Nazerath)
Raven Hassoun is too busy texting, emailing and messaging to have any contact with her work colleagues. In fact she avoids it: “I don’t have the time.” All the messages that come to her arrive with demands but she can control these more from a distance.
Of course, emails beget emails, texts beget texts and messages beget messages. If CEO Stan Hammond is right and emails ‘create a string of misunderstandings,’* then we are not more in control but less.
Face-to-face conversation is best. It’s why companies are beginning to look for ways to reintroduce it.
(*From Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation.)
(**Matthew 11: 28-30.)